Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Spirit Rejoices: Theology of the Body-Inspired Wedding Songs

{sweet sounds for your Mass and reception}

A question worth pondering (one I'm still figuring out): just how personal should your first dance song be?  Should you take an opportunity to share your faith or just stick to a conventional love song?

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Brooke and I chatted over coffee about a month ago about how a bride and groom are, in a way, responsible for their guests in the way they plan their Mass and reception.  Although, obviously, not every aspect of your reception requires heavy-handed theological discourse (I'd argue, actually, that nothing should be heavy-handed so much as simply done with love, truth, and invitation), the choices made regarding things like alcohol and music can have an effect on your guests' behavior and the way they remember the day.  As first dances go, there's a natural desire to choose a song that's meaningful or sentimental to you as a couple, yet at the same time, there is an awareness that the song you pick will send a message to everyone who's there watching and listening.  Or is that just over analytical me?

Maybe it's my lifelong reading habit or my poetical husband, but more so than sound, mood, or any other aspect, lyrics are what almost always draw me most powerfully into a song.  Something about the precision of capturing a certain emotion or experience with beautiful language matters a lot to me, and Andrew and I wanted to reflect that in our first dance song.  Unfortunately, we chickened out on our first choice (too intimate) and second (too long) and settled on this, which you can read more about here.

Looking back, I sometimes wish we had been bold enough to choose a song more personal and reflective of our spirituality.  I have an entire playlist of secular songs I constantly listen to that, in my opinion at least, cry out lyrically of the Theology of the Body--songs that speak to the longing of our hearts for something more than this life, the glimpse of heaven pure, sacrificial love affords us, the constant battle to allow love to prevail over lust and selfishness, and the perfecting love of the Father, who rejoices simply in the fact that we exist.  It's a tall order, cramming all that into one song, but if you're on the hunt for a TOB-inspired first dance, I offer you these.

What do you think about loving responsibility and evangelization through your Mass and reception?  Did any of your favorites make this list, and which ones did I leave off?  Would you choose one, or a similarly-minded song, for your first dance?

P.S.  Did you catch my book title reveal yesterday?  I'll be announcing it on the blog next week, but you can catch it right now, ahead of time, on Facebook and Instagram.  Follow along and share it with a bride-to-be!


  1. My husband and I danced to "Come What May" from the movie Moulin Rouge because of the sentimental value the song had for us. I had never heard the song before I met my husband (and had never seen the movie). I think the song's meaning aligns with the nature of TOB, etc.

    I don't really think the 1st dance's lyrics matter that much. Most of the weddings I've been to, if I don't know the song before their first dance, I probably won't understand the lyrics upon first hearing it in a wedding reception setting. For me, it's really just about the moment of having that first sweet dance between the new husband and wife. As long as it's not grinding to Lady Gaga, I don't think you can really go wrong! ;)

    However, I think the music during the ceremony is much more significant and important. I spent a lot of time on the music for our nuptial mass, especially since I was in the choir and they were singing for us.

    1. Ha, yeah maybe no on the Gaga! What a beautiful choice for your dance, and you're right, the lyrics are a really nice fit! Regarding listening in on other couples' song lyrics, I guess I am just overly analytical about words and am nosy, a combination which makes for a huge interest in what song a bride and groom choose =)

      Totally agree that the ceremony music is one of the most significant parts of the day. What a gift that your own choir got to sing for your Mass!!

  2. I gasped when I saw this list because Lovely Tonight has been one of my favorite songs, and what my fiancé considers to be "our song" for such a long time, but I've never really seen much attention given to it. The lyrics are pretty important to us, we've known each other since we were six, and it was a long road getting to the point when we started dating, so the line "and you would be the last thing I saw coming, I'm still surprised" is so accurate to us. And then reading the comments on this thread I sort of gasped again because just *last night* I suggested to him that we could dance to Come What May! But, as expected, he's pushing for Lovely Tonight.

    1. How beautiful, and what a coincidence about Come What May! I first heard Lovely Tonight on an EP years ago, and rediscovered it as an orchestra sorta version on one of Josh's more recent albums. Wedding-wise, my favorite lines are "we are two, we're eternal / the moons have aligned/ our separate lives here become one." =)



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